A guide for parents in Canada

Useful readings about child care in Canada

About Canada: Childcare
This book covers a range of topics and issues in Canadian child care. Questions covered include: Why doesn’t Canada have an ECEC system, even though other countries do? What is missing in Canada’s ECEC landscape and why? and Is ECEC primarily a public good, a private family responsibility, or an opportunity for profit-making? The authors argue that Canada requires an integrated system of services, stating that the absence of universal public funding is detrimental to the future of the country’s families, women, and children. (Friendly, Martha & Prentice, Susan, 1 Sept 2009)

Early childhood education and care in Canada 2014
This report is the 10th compilation of Canada-wide data on child care and related early childhood programs published by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit. It considers child care space provision, budget allocations, and service delivery information in the 2012-2014 period, comparing these to previous years. It also provides detailed provincial/territorial descriptive information on kindergarten and child care programs. (Friendly, Martha; Grady, Bethany; Macdonald, Lyndsay & Forer, Barry, Childcare Resource and Research Unit, 31 Dec 2015)

The state of early childhood education and care in Canada 2012
This report provides a snapshot of Canadian ECEC in 2012. It uses consistent data regularly collected by CRRU as a base and integrates other pertinent data and outlines key trends, patterns and policy shifts in Canadian ECEC's organization and governance. (Ferns, Carolyn & Friendly, Martha, Moving Childcare Forward, 20 Jun 2014)

Canada’s history of the never-was national child care program
This edition of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit series, Know thy History: Looking back on child care, considers the three major attempts by federal governments to develop a national child care strategy for Canada. (Childcare Research and Resource Unit, 8 Feb 2012)

Child care in Canada by 2020: A vision and a way forward
This background paper was published for Canada’s 4th national child care policy conference, ChildCare2020. It considers what federal leadership and dedicated, accountable investment in a child care system could accomplish by 2020. (Various, ChildCare 2020, 3 Nov 2014) Also available in French: Les services de garde au Canada en 2020: Une vision et une march à suivre

'Childcare' business or profession?
This resource includes a report and conference presentations from the 2014 Start Strong conference. The report, written by professors Helen Penn and Eva Lloyd from the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare, at the University of East London concludes that, "much greater levels of direct public investment are needed to ensure high quality early year care and education for all children". (Start Strong conference, 3 Dec 2014)

Beyond baby steps: Planning for a national child care system
This article published in Policy Options considers the importance of the federal governments role in designing a national child care plan. Authors present what the current system is lacking and ways to improve it. They conclude that "by moving beyond baby steps to planning a national child care system, the Trudeau government can help lead the development of a child care system that works for all of us." (Prentice, Susan; White, Linda & Friendly, Martha, Policy Options, 19 Jul 2016)

Moving beyond baby steps: Building a child care plan for today's families
This issue of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives publication Our Schools / Our Selves takes stock of where things were in the child care debates in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election. Researchers, activists and analysts provide a thoughtful, nuanced, accessible overview of key child care issues. (Various, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 1 Sep 2015)

Policy issues in indigenous early childhood education and care 2015
This CRRU Issue File is intended to promote discussion about Indigenous child care and early childhood education in Canada. It is organized into online documents and a list of useful resources including organizations, websites and other information. It builds on an earlier online CRRU Issue File titled Aboriginal Early Learning and Child Care: Policy Issues, compiled in 2011. (Childcare Resource and Research Unit, 3 June 2015)

Child care can't wait till the cows come home: Rural child care in the Canadian context 
This paper provides a current overview of the state of rural child care in order to stimulate and inform discussion aimed at improving it. Sections include a scan of provincial/territorial approaches and initiatives pertinent to rural child care as well as a brief summary of the situation of rural child care beyond our borders among a nunber of other sections.

Work around the clock: A snapshot of non-standard hours child care in Canada
This report provides an up-to-date report on the state of child care for families working non-standard hours in Canada. It includes practical information about what seems to “work” and what does not seem to work for families as they access and use child care services. 

The need to improve Canadian child care
This article published in Canadian Family magazine discusses Canada's 'patchwork' child care system and highlights the need for a universal plan. (Johnson, Tim, Canadian Family, 1 Oct 2007)

They go up so fast: 2015 child care fees in Canadian cities
This report reveals the most and least expensive cities for child care in Canada. It examines median unsubsidized child care fees in Canada's 27 biggest cities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The study finds Canada's child care systems can vary dramatically from province to province and city to city, but two things hold true in nearly all places: child care is expensive and regulated spaces are hard to find. (Klinger, Thea & Macdonald, David, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 10 Dec 2015)